Massive Change is HERE

Massive Change is HERE

Massive Change is HERE

The world is changing…has Changed.

Can you feel it? Have you experienced it?

 

The interesting thing to me is that it isn’t just the world that has changed but me included.  I am just as much changed as the people and the community around me.  This is so surprising.

As a child of relocation, I typically view myself as being separated from most everything, especially the world as a whole.  Not too many people really get me or my life experience, so it was surprising a few weeks ago when that intimate connection popped up in an unexpected emotional moment.

Like many of you, I have chosen to stay pretty well away from humankind over the past 14 months.  However, the numbers in Texas being low and presented with a beautiful spring day, it was the spark of inspiration I needed to leave the house.  We had our masks, and we were going to be outside getting some sunshine.

That simple trip to the Dallas Arboretum with my husband, to see the tulips in final glory, evoked a surprising and guttural response.  

I couldn’t believe my reaction to being out of the house…in the middle of people.

That simple Sunday turned into a day of hesitation and even a bit of panic.  As I entered the Arboretum, I noticed that it was busier than we expected, especially since we had arrived an hour and a half before closing.  My body began to slowly tense up. I felt like I was scanning my surrounding, much like a computer, looking for the open pathways.  That scanning led me to choose a path around to the left instead of the right, my typical choice.

That day the pathways seemed narrow especially as people approached, I almost held my breath until we passed each other.  

What a strange experience and so unlike my pre-pandemic self.  I love people and being around people.  I am typically curious and want to talk to everyone, but not that day.  My attention focused intently when 10 to 12 people in a group came upon me in a narrow passage. 

I strongly remember thinking “Too many people…too many people!”

That is the moment I decided the choice to be at the arboretum, was not the right decision for me.

The Rules Shifted

The crazy thing for me and what I am still wrapping my head around is that ALL THE RULES SHIFTED…not just for me but for society as a whole.

Everyone I came across was harder to read and predict.  I, myself was harder to read and predict.  In that moment I surprised myself, something that may have never happened before.

What I realize as I reflect on this experience and the idea of emerging from this pandemic is that we are all trying desperately to understand the new rules.  

The problem is that the rules are no longer known, and
in most cases, the rules haven’t even been conceived of yet.

Rules TBD

Those unspoken rules that we use, collectively, to walk through the grocery store or plan a gathering are gone.  The ones that we relied upon and existed before February 2020, no longer exist for most of us.

These social norms are part of the cultural fabric that we depend on to live our lives.  Without them everything is up in the air.  And without existing and long tested data about COVID and efficacy of preventative measures as well as the vaccines, we are all living lives that are in a constant state of flux.

Adding to the challenges, most of us are still shifting our own rules as we learn, experience, and witness others’ decisions.

These rules will most likely not be set for a year or two.  So then what?  Do we all walk around on eggshells for the next two years?

Shifting Rules – Judgment not Required

There is some solace in the belief that these unspoken rules will change.  Expecting that we don’t know what others believe or want help us to maintain our cool in many situations.

Before the pandemic a behavior or decision outside of these unspoken rules would likely surprise if not grate against someone who knew the rules.

Before February 2020, if you walked up to someone and they took 3 steps back, the response would likely be “Whoa, what’s your problem??”

But now, we expect that we don’t know what people will do. Now, we observe and adjust in stride without judging them for their decision.  Today, when someone backs up as I approach, I work to maintain that distance and demonstrate respect.

What has really shifted here is that we are more likely to see the need and their concerns rather than making a negative  judgement about them, us or the intentions.  Perhaps not reading into situations is a good lesson to learn for the long term.

Unspoken Rules and Culture

Bringing this back around to relocation, let talk about the cultural aspects of this.  When we talk about unspoken rules we are really talking about culture.  Culture as in the set of rules and understanding that any group or community may have.  Typically, these things are unspoken and through experience “understood” by the members of the community.

Each community has these things that are “understood.”  This understanding directs the decision making, what is right and wrong as well as the “proper” way to do things and conduct yourself.

When I moved to Minnesota, my southern smile and strong desire to chat was actually off putting to the locals.  Whereas it was the key to gaining friends and connections in the South.

Have you been confused by this and want to learn more?

More about Cultural speed bumps on Thursday’s ReloWomen Podcast 

On Thursday, I am talking to Efrot Weiss about cultural differences.  She has spent years as an EXPAT in Japan and she joins me to talk about some of the lesser known differences and the dramatic impact they can have within communities when you don’t know the rules.

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Podcast Links:
 
Efrot Weiss
Cross Cultural Trainer and Coach, Linguist, Speaker & Japanese Specialist
 
 
Families in Global Transition www.figt.org
 
 

ReloWomen Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ReloWomen

Categories

A New Hope…in Relocation –

A New Hope…in Relocation –

A New Hope…in Relocation –

Where is that life I thought I was moving to?

“What’s up with this relocation!?!?  I have worked SOOOO HARD, everything is put in place and YET…I feel awful. I don’t know what happened?  I thought this would be so good for us.   I don’t know what to do.  I have no friends and I sooooo miss my life, back there!”

I know I am not alone in this.  Let me assure you this is normal. I have walked it enough times to believe this.  And thought it is not fun, It is typical and I am proof can be navigated.  This season happens…

anywhere between 6 months and 2 years, many of us wake up one day and think ~

“WAIT!  This isn’t what I signed up for!”

How did we get here?  One of the main reasons is all of the work we just walked through, all of the problems we solved and all of the stuff we put in place.  Most of us get so wrapped the minutiae of relocation that we forget where we are going…the life and lives we are creating. 

And for me I think, I believed that if I put all of these things in place a wonderful life would just appear.

I don’t know about you, but I woke up one day and wondered ~ what happened??

Every hiccup and disappointment was no longer just something that happened but PROOF that all this was wrong.  The relocation, the community, the house, the job and especially me.  It became proof to me at least, that I was not capable of doing this.

That is such a sad and lonely place.

The funny thing about that place was that it was not a constant, which made me begin to question it.  If it was truth, if I had made a mistake, if I wasn’t capable then that would be all the time.  And frankly it wasn’t always true.  In the months after we decided to relocate, I did more than I had done in years.  I had done things like negotiate contracts and resolved issues that in normal life I would have left to others.  I knew more about my son and what he needed to succeed in school and I volunteered at his school so that I would know what was going on there.  All things I hadn’t done before.

When I remember these, I realized that I was capable.

In these moments of clarity and confidence, I could see the life I wanted to build as well as the currently life (without judgement)…but I had no way, no bridge between the two.  How do I take 2 seemingly different things and create the life I imagined in the beginning? 

First I had to put down the things that were getting in my way.

Undone and done

Like most relocation activities achieving that life requires both releasing and creation.

Releasing in this stage is all about releasing judgement.  The judgement we cast on the where we are, the situation and ourselves must be released in order to move forward in any way.  I can hear some of you now, “But you don’t know how hard this was.  You aren’t acknowledging how hopeless this situation is.  This will never work.”

Frankly, that is true. Every word of it, as long as it is believed.  As humans the actions we take are directly related to what we believe is true.  Through that we exert control over what we can and cannot see.  Through these judgements we determine if we are or are not capable. 

And while “this will never work” is in control, this relocation will remain hard, hopeless, and have no possibility of improvement.

How do we put these things down?  We entertain the possibility that there is another way to think about this.  We ask ourselves:

  • How else can I see this?
  • How would (name of a respected person) figure this out?
  • What are other ways to fix this?
  • What if I wasn’t (mad/frustrated/overwhelmed), what options would I see?

When we begin to ask questions like this, we drop the judgement or non productive emotions and take on things like curiosity and one of my favorite made up emotions, feeling that it is “figure-out-able”.

IF you decided that this was figure-out-able, how would that change the thoughts and the possibilities about this?  Once we move into a place where we have removed the obstacles, then we can get on to creating that life we want.

Remembering & Creating

What is being created?  The life you imagined this relocation would bring about.

Why relocation was a good idea? What made it a good choice, for each of you? 

One of the best ways to create a clear picture of life.  Not life a whole but life in its part.  Most of us have seen “life wheels”.  These pie charts typically include 6 parts of life like: relationships, money, health, education, love, fun.  The idea is to label each section with the most important aspects of life and then rate them from 1 to 10.

Here I encourage you to use this not in a present time from but future.  Choose the top six for each person. Then have everyone describe what each section would need to make it a 10.  This becomes a goals list for each person.  The interesting thing that comes of this is that when shared amongst the group each one can become a group project or at the very least a way for everyone to know more about the others.  This is so important especially with siblings.

Once in the community, as everyone learns what is available, as new opportunities present themselves everyone will be able to easily decide what fits and those things or even people who do not.  Whether it is an opportunity for one of the kids to be in the school play or perhaps joining a club or creating a business with one of the neighbors when you know what a “10 out of 10” life is, it is easy to determine what stays or is passed by.

That’s the Life I want to Live

Now that the self-judgement has been asked to stand down and we see all the other ways about life around us, we can find new truths and options all around. These shifts in our thinking help us to see the things we need to build our dream life.

This space that we create, allows us truly merge who we are and what we want with what is here in our new community.  When we do this well, we live more of who we are.  We create and live a life of intention, our intention.

This dream may shift and grow as each of you shift and grow as you walk this relocation.  This is not a problem. This is the way life works.  It can seem dramatic and jarring at the time.  This is just because so much happens so quickly during this season. Keep reminding yourself that this is figure-out-able.

 “OK, I see that…now what?”

Anytime we contemplate and decide rather than react, we make decisions aligned with the life we want to create and live.

If you would like more tactical advice on living that life you want, sign up for a 45 minute call with me and we will talk about where you are, what you want and how to get there.

You want to live that life imagined, I can help.

Go out to the ReloWomen.com website and click the “Let’s Chat” Button in the top right corner of every page.  I look forward to walking through relocation with you.

 

Want to relocate well?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.

Categories

Finding Your Tribe

Finding Your Tribe

Finding Your Tribe

-Our people.  The ones we hang with.  The ones who show up.  The ones who call for no reason.  The ones that we count on and they count on us.-

The lack of our people, the loss of the ones we had and no connection to any here…that is what we many of us mourn the most after relocation.  We get through all the activity.  We walk through the disappointments, sometimes struggling to raise our heads because of it and we find ourselves alone.

Once we look around, in the new place, we finally realize after all this effort to get ourselves here, we are alone and lonely.

To some that may seem obvious, like we should have seen it coming.  It is logical.  However, with all of the action, with everything that “MUST BE DONE NOW!” that isn’t a concern. Powering through with company would have slowed us down.

But now…on the other side, the reality sinks in every so violently.

You mean I went through all this trouble to feel like…THIS?!?!?

YUP.  Smack dab in the middle of isolation and without some action this will land in helplessness or perhaps apathy.

This is what happened to Uri’s wife.  His story is in the Jerusalem Post, “Relocation and it’s Failures”.  It talks about how he was in a deadend accountant job in Israel with no real prospects.  He found his dream job though LinkedIN and after many interviews and assessments, he was offered his dream job as CEO of an African Telecom in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The excitedly accepted the job and the relocation.  A month after his first trip down they moved to Johannesburg.  The job was great but within a week his wife, not able to work in South Africa, she was lonely and did not want to leave the house because of it.  And 3 months later, with his late nights and no life, she told him she was moving back to Israel. 

They had a beautiful house they could never afford back in Israel with a housekeeper.  They had all of their things with them, and yet she couldn’t make it work.  The isolation drove her from this relocation back to where she came from.

He resigned and followed 4 months after they arrived.

Planning for Alone

When we land in a new place, we do meet people and establish some connections.  However, those connections are fleeting, in the case of a real estate agent, or surface like with new co-workers, neighbors or other parents.

We feel our aloneness in our bones.  As humans we are not designed to be alone.  This is one of the reasons that we can feel so very threatened or “in danger” ever where none exists.  It may appear like an undefined anxiety or disillusionment.  Something we can’t quite put our finger on and yet it seems to poke at us relentlessly.

When we do not have our community our tribe,
that feeling of “something missing” comes at us regularly.

Expecting this is coming is a building block to overcoming it.  I teach many of my clients to think “Oh there you are, I was expecting you.”  Many feelings can seem like knee jerk reactions, just coming at you. But once in front of you, it is time to greet it.  That greeting or acknowledgement takes a bit of the sting out of it.

Once the stinger has been plucked, it is time to get into action.  Yes we are alone, but what are we going to do now?

What to do

On the ReloWomen podcast this week, Nicole Remini talks about her relocation from Minnesota to Arizona, the last in many that crisscrossed her around the country ~ all corners.

In this relocation, she moved to Arizona to be close to two of her 5 adult children.  Forty-five minutes away from each of them, that move did not mean she would be seeing them very often.  They would not be part of her tribe.  Nicole needed to find her people.

As an entrepreneur and someone who has lived many different lives, she was looking for people like her that wanted to change the world.  But how do you do that, especially new to town? 

Her answer was to find a community of like-minded women.  She believed that no matter where she landed, they were there. So, she went about to find then.

Calling My People

Nicole Remini, set about finding these like-minded entrepreneurial women in her corner of the phoenix area.  How?  She talked to people.  Her neighbors as first and then in the greater part of her little community.  She set up a Facebook page and created monthly meetings that went virtual in the past year.

Over the last two years she has created a vibrant network of entrepreneurial women who are dedicated to each other and making this world a better place.  She built her tribe.

Joining IN

If creating your own tribe isn’t your thing, I assure you there are plenty of people looking for people like you. 

One of the most active groups I belong to is a local Facebook moms group.  If I need a plumber or want to know “what kind of snake” that is, 50 or 100 responses will flood in.  The other question that gets lots of attention is:

“I’ve not been here long, and I am looking to connect with other mom with kindergarteners”

Every post like this gets hundreds of responses, even some without kids, reaching out to offer encouragement and friendship. 

We all know what it is like to feel alone and isolated.  When we ask, we find others…sometimes right away.

Doing what you LOVE

The best way, in my opinion, to meet people is to do what you LOVE. 

·         Love books, volunteer at the library.